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Buckeyes look for continued success at league tournament after winning home tournament last weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Coming of its first win of the season, the No. 19 Ohio State women’s golf team will look to continue its success into the postseason at the 2010 Big Ten Championships, April 23-25 in Madison, Wis. The Buckeyes will be in the hunt for their first league crown since 2005 while competing on the par 72, 6,224-yard University Ridge Golf Course.

The three-day, 72-hole tournament will begin Friday with rounds one and two beginning with tee times at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  The tournament will continue with 9 a.m. tee times Saturday and 8 a.m. tee times Sunday. All times are Central.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: 2010 Big Ten Championships
Course: University Ridge Golf Course, Madison, Wis. (par 72, 6,224 yards)
Field: 11 teams (Golfweek rankings)
Illinois (73)
Indiana (55)
Iowa
Michigan (63)
Michigan State (13)
Minnesota (57)
Northwestern (36)
Ohio State (19)
Penn State
Purdue (8)
Wisconsin (64)
Schedule:
Friday, April 23: 36 holes (8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. tee times)
Saturday, April 24: 18 holes (9 a.m. tee times)
Sunday, April 25: 18 holes (8 a.m. tee times)

KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the Big Ten Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com. A link to the tournament will also be available at the women’s golf schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

THE LINE-UP
Buckeyes beginning their postseason slate this weekend include freshmen Rachel Rohanna, Amy Meier and Susana Benavides, sophomore Vicky Villanueva, junior In Hong Lim and senior captain Emma Jandel.

With the exception of Meier, the tournament will be familiar territory for the Buckeyes, who previewed the Big Ten course and competition at the Lady Northern Invitational, Sept. 27-28. The league tournament will mark the 10th outing of the season for Rohanna and Lim, the ninth for Meier, Villanueva and Jandel and the eighth for Benavides.

HOW IT WORKS
Unlike their regular season events, the Buckeyes will play an additional round at the Big Ten Championships. The three-day, 72-hole tournament will begin Friday with 8 a.m. tee times. The second round will also be played Friday with tee times beginning at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will continue Saturday and Sunday with tee times starting at 9 and 8 a.m., respectively, for single rounds. Like last weekend, it will be a 6-count-4 format for scoring.

Ohio State played 36 holes in a day four times this season, including last weekend at its own Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. The team averages a collective score of 298.50 when playing two rounds in a day and the Buckeyes finished runner-up twice and was victorious once in out of those four tournaments.

BIG TEN BREAKDOWN
Playing a competitive regular-season schedule, the Buckeyes have already teed off against all of their Big Ten competition. Ohio State has bested all Big Ten squads sometime in the season except for Purdue. At the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational (April 17-18), Ohio State beat league teams from Michigan State, Northwestern, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Penn State with its 14-stroke victory.

In the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, the No. 19 Buckeyes are the third-highest ranked Big Ten team behind No. 8 Purdue and No. 13 Michigan State. Big Ten squads also ranked in the top 75 of the poll include Northwestern (36), Indiana (55), Minnesota (57), Michigan (63), Wisconsin (64) and Illinois (73).

BACK-TO-BACK AT THE LADY BUCKEYE
The Buckeyes secured their first win of the season on their home course at their own Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, April 17-18. Although the skies were clear, conditions were gusty on the par 72, 6,275-yard Scarlet Course. The Buckeyes led the event for all but a couple holes with rounds of 304-311-304 en route to their 919 total.

The win was not only Hession’s 37th victory at OSU, but the first back-to-back Lady Buckeye victories since taking four-straight titles between 1998 and ’01. Ohio State had not produced consecutive wins at the same tournament since winning the Big Ten crown each year from 2002-05.

It was a tough battle for second l, with Michigan State jumping past Northwestern on the last 18 holes with a total of 933. The Spartans also found a medalist in Laura Kueny who snuck past Buckeye freshman Rachel Rohanna in the final holes. Firing the low round of the Lady Buckeye with a 73, Kueny concluded the tournament at 227.

Just shy of her first college win, Rohanna finished in second at 228. Carding her second top 5 finish, the rookie from the Waynesburg, Pa., opened with back-to-back bogeys, but found birdies on hole Nos. 6 and 15 to card a final round of 76

Tying for fourth was the duo of junior In Hong Lim and senior captain Emma Jandel. Securing their highest finishes of the season, the pair each shot a final round of 77 for a total of 232. Remaining in the top 5 throughout the tournament, the finish was the highest of Jandel’s career.

Freshman Susana Benavides closed the tournament with an 80 to tie for sixth at 234. Also in the top 10 was fellow rookie Amy Meier who tied for 10th. After back-to-back rounds of 81, Meier improved in day two with a round of 74 that included three birdies.

Also competing for Ohio State was sophomore Vicky Villanueva who tied for 17th at 238. Fellow sophomore Nara Shin, who competed as an individual, tied for 49th at 248.

MAKING RANK
In the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings released April 18, the Buckeyes broke into the top 20 by sitting 19th with an overall record of 101-34-5. Ohio State is led by freshman Rachel Rohanna who is the 64th individual in the poll. Also in the top 100 is junior In Hong Lim who nabbed the 81st spot. The ratings is a mathematical system which uses factors such as schedule strength, records, number of events played, power rating and schedule ranking to determine the position of each team.

The Buckeyes also received a top 25 ranking in the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches’ poll where they moved up three spots to 19th.

In the NCAA Head-to-Head scoring released by www.golfstat.com, Ohio State is the No. 12 squad. Also in the Golfstat rankings, the Buckeyes are in the top 25 of the Freshman Class Impact Rankings, while freshman Amy Meier was named to the Hole-In-One Club after her first career ace March 27 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.

WEATHER FORECAST
Temperatures should remain consistent throughout the three-day tournament with high in the 60s and lows in the 40s. However, rain is expected all three days of the event. The www.weather.com golf index has identified Friday as the best day to hit the links.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Ohio State’s recent win at home against eight conference opponents is not the only indicator that it can hang with competitive squads. Previewing the Big Ten course and field at the Lady Northern Invitational Sept. 27-28 in Madison, the Buckeyes tied for second with Michigan State at 878.

Leading the way for OSU on the par 72, 6,246-yard University Ridge Golf Course was freshman Rachel Rohanna who placed fourth at 2-over 218. Also in the top 20 were senior captain Emma Jandel who tied for 16th at 224 and sophomore Vicky Villanueva who tied for 18th at 225.

A LOOK AT THE LINKS
Rated the 28th best public golf course in the 2008 Golf World reader’s poll, the par 72, 6,224-yard University Ridge Golf Course has a slope rating of 142 on bent grass. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the back-nine, which is carved from the dense Wisconsin forest, could prove challenging for the Buckeyes.

BUCKEYES AT BIG TENS
With 11 Big Ten titles, Ohio State leads the league in tournament wins. The Buckeyes have also produced eight tournament medalists, including assistant head coach Amy Miller, formerly Langhals, in 1997. Under head coach Therese Hession, the Buckeyes have finished lower than fourth at the Big Ten championships just once in 18 years. The Buckeyes’ last league win came in 2005 when the squad was led by medalist Kristen White.

Ohio State has 21 First Team All-Big Ten selections, six Big Ten Players of Year and six Big Ten Freshman of Year awardwinners, including the 2009 rookie pick in Vicky Villanueva.

A YEAR AGO
Also concluding their regular season with a win at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, the 2008-09 Buckeye squad began their postseason slate with a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Ohio State notched a 72-hole score of 1,255 on the par 72, 6,333-yard Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. The team was lead by Big Ten Freshman of the Year Vicky Villanueva and junior Emma Jandel who tied for 12th.

For their performances throughout the season, junior In Hong Lim was a First Team All-Big Ten selection will Villanueva took second team honors. Lim also received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

SPRING FLING
After dusting off the cobwebs with an alumni match-up, the Buckeyes opened their spring slate at their own Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Feb. 8-10) in Palos Verdes, Calif. Teeing off at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club, the Buckeyes concluded the competitive tournament in third at 897 and bested the current top 3 teams in the country in UCLA, Arizona State and Duke. The Buckeyes were led by senior captain Emma Jandel who tied for 12th at 223 (+10).

From there, the Buckeyes travelled to Parrish, Fla., when they competed at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 22-23). They fired a team score of 898 at the par 72, 6,099-yard River Wilderness Golf Club to tie for fifth, just three stroke shy of fourth place Michigan State. Freshman Amy Meier and junior In Hong Lim led Ohio State with scores of 222 to tie for 14th.

Competing in the inaugural Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2), Ohio State secured another stellar finish as runner-up on the par 73, 6,265-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga. The Buckeyes were again led by Meier who tied for seventh at 222. 

The Buckeyes returned to Georgia when they competed at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic (March 24-26). Opening with a 315, Ohio State continued to improve each day with rounds of 311 and 305 to place 10th out of 22 teams. Lim led Ohio State in a tie for 26th. 

Playing on the par 72, 6,323-yard Players Course at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center in Greensboro, N.C., the Buckeyes concluded the Bryan National Collegiate tied for third (April 2-4). Ohio State fired a final round of 294 and totaled 886 to tie with the nationally-ranked squads from Duke and Vanderbilt. Freshman Rachel Rohanna and Lim led OSU in a tie for 14th at 221.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS
Posting an overall record of 101-34-5, the Buckeyes are led in stroke average by freshman Rachel Rohanna with a 75.26 mark after 27 rounds of play. Also competing in all 27 rounds is junior In Hong Lim who is averaging 75.56 during her junior campaign. After nine possible events, six of seven Buckeyes have stroke averages under 77.

ACE IN THE HOLE
In just her rookie season, freshman Amy Meier has already fired one of the rarest shot in golf – the hole-in-one. Her first career ace came on the 150-yard, No. 16 hole during the second round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, March 27.

FRESHMEN FORCE
A key factor to the Buckeyes’ success this season has been the edition of freshmen Amy Meier, Susana Benavides and Rachel Rohanna. In their rookie seasons, the trio has each notched a top 10 finish.

Rohanna, a native of Waynesburg, Pa., currently leads the Buckeyes in stroke average with a 75.26. In just her second collegiate event, she concluded the Lady Northern Invitational in fourth. The tournament previewed the Big Ten course and field and Rohanna fired a 54-hole total of 218 (+2) after opening with a 2-under round of 70. She also led the Buckeyes at their own Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational where she was runner-up.

Meier, from Rochester Hills, Mich., has been the top Buckeye finisher in two outings this spring. Notching a 54-hole total of 222 at both events, Meier tied for 14th at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 22-23) and broke into the top 10 with a tie for seventh at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2).

Competing as an individual at the Mercedes-Benz Championship (Oct. 16-18), Benavides, a native of Cochabamba, Bolivia, tied for sixth at 218 (+2). She recently posted her best finish of the spring with a tie for sixth last weekend at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. 

BIG TEN GOLFER OF THE WEEK
For her performance at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2), freshman Amy Meier was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week by the conference March 3. It was the first weekly honor for a Buckeye this season. For the second-consecutive tournament, Meier was the top finisher for the Buckeyes in a tie for seventh at 3-over 222. Her finish helped Ohio State place runner-up in an 18-team field that featured 11 teams ranked in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.

After opening with a 79, the Rochester Hills, Mich., native fired a 70 in her second round to tie for the low round of the tournament. She had a span during round two where she birdied five of six holes. Meier secured her first career top 10 finish with a solid final round of even-par 73 that included four birdies to offset four bogies. The two-day, 54-hole event was held on the par 73, 6,265-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga.

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN
At the conclusion of fall play, Ohio State elected senior Emma Jandel as its captain. The Dayton, Ohio, native served as a Buckeye co-captain for the previous two seasons. She has competed in 125 rounds during her Buckeye career and is the lone senior on the squad this season. At the Northrop Grumman, Jandel was the top finisher among the Buckeyes, tying for 12th in the competitive field.

At the recent Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational (April 17-18), Jandel had her highest career placement in a tie for fourth after rounds of 76-79-77 for a 232 total against cool temps and gusty winds.

BUCKEYES PAST AND PRESENT
After a three-month break from competition, Ohio State had the opportunity to dust off some of the cobwebs with an alumni match held Jan. 31. Competing for bragging rights in West Palm Beach, Fla., the team teed off against six LPGA Tour players, including talented alumni Allison Hanna, Meg Mallon and Lisa Strom from Ohio State.

The tournament, which consisted of six holes of best ball, alternative shot and regular play, went to the alumni, who bested the Buckeyes with a score of 8-4.

HESSION HONORED
Head coach Therese Hession was honored as the recipient of the 2010 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award in December. The most prestigious award given by the National Golf Coaches Association, she received the award for her outstanding service and commitment to collegiate golf.

A former Treasurer and President of the NGCA, Hession was also the recipient of the 1989 LPGA Tour Samaritan Award. In her 19-year tenure at the helm of the Buckeyes, she has molded exceptional athletes both on the course and in the classroom. Under Hession, Ohio State has produced 10 NGCA All-America selections, 41 All-Big Ten selections, five Big Ten Player of the Year and five Big Ten Freshman of the Year recipients. Academically, she has overseen 26 NGCA All-American Scholars, 78 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 111 OSU Scholar-Athletes.

FALL BALL
Ohio State opened its fall schedule Sept. 13-15 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev. There, the Buckeyes carded a team score of 884, just three strokes back from tournament winner Pepperdine. Leading the team was junior In Hong Lim who carded a three-day total of 219 to tie for sixth. Tying for 11th, freshman Rachel Rohanna finished her first collegiate tournament with a score of 221.

After competing in Sin City, the Buckeyes previewed their Big Ten Course and field at the Lady Northern Invitational in Madison, Wis. The site of the 2010 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes fired a team score of 878 on the par 72, 6,246 University Ridge Golf Course to tie for second with Michigan State. Rohanna, senior Emma Jandel and sophomore Vicky Villanueva concluded the tournament in the top 20 with Rohanna leading the Buckeyes with a fourth place finish at 218 (+2).

Next up, Ohio State fired a team score of 921 at the Mercedes-Benz Championship Oct. 16-18. Finishing in 15th, Ohio State was again led by Rohanna who placed 28th at 226. Competing as an individual, freshman Susana Benavides tied for sixth. Shooting a 218, her total included a round of 1-under 71 on the par 72, 6,317 Fox Den course in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Buckeyes wrapped their fall slate on their own Scarlet Course when they hosted the All-Ohio Invitational Oct. 25-26. Contending against in-state competition from Bowling Green, Dayton and Ohio University, Ohio State posted four finishers in the top 5 of the field. Leading the field by eight strokes was Villanueva who took medalist honors with a 36-hole total of 143 (+1). Also in the Top 5 were sophomore Nara Shin, freshman Amy Meier and Benavides.

COACHES CORNER
The 2009-10 season marks the 19th year the Buckeyes are led by head coach Therese Hession. A former LPGA professional, Hession has molded the Ohio State golf program into one with a strong tradition of excellence. In her tenure, she has led the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten championships, 11 NCAA championship appearances and 15-consecutive NCAA regional appearances. Hession is an NGCA Hall of Famer and six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year awardwinner.

Assisting Hession is former Buckeye Amy (Langhals) Miller. Now in her fifth year at the assistant coach position, Miller was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame last September. While at Ohio State, Miller was a three-time All-Big Ten selection as well as the 1997 Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year. She married Greg Miller, associate head coach of the Buckeye women’s soccer team, over the summer.

JONES NAMED 2011 U.S. SOLHEIM CUP TEAM CAPTAIN
Rosie Jones, a former Buckeye and 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour, was selected as captain of the 2011 Solheim Cup Team. Held at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, the 2011 Solheim Cup will run from Sept. 23-25. Jones, who was a part of the first U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1990, has won more than $8 million in her tenure with the tour. In her career, which spans over three decades, Jones notched 187 Top 10 finishes, five holes-in-one and a 5-4 playoff record. 

COMING SOON
Along with the opportunity to play on the renowned Scarlet Course, the Buckeyes will soon have access to the largest indoor collegiate golf facility in the country. Approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees September 2008, the 26,000-square foot facility should break ground during the 2010-11 season.

UP NEXT
Following the league tournament, the Buckeyes will look to secure a slot at their 16th-consecutive NCAA regional, May 6-8, with the NCAA announcing the field April 26. The top eight squads from each regional will then compete at the NCAA championship, May 18-21, in Wilmington, N.C.